Food Management Digizine - Q2 2023


A school farm teaches regenerative farming practices—and kids get to eat the results

“With our long winters, when you haven’t seen the sun for a month or two, the mental health benefits are really helpful,” Jenson says. The visibility of the garden also keeps staff and visitors aware of the initiative and features signs telling them what is growing. A bulletin board in the cafeteria line also features information about the program. Jenson says they’re also working on adding labeling to pre-made dishes, such as salads, denoting that all the lettuce is grown onsite. “One of our most popular items is the caprese salad, so we grow a lot of basil for that,” she says. “We want to add a sticker with more information, for employees as well as any visitors in the cafeteria. We also include information about what we’re growing in our newsletters.” Prescription-Grade Salad In the summer of 2022, Aspirus kicked off its Prescription for Health Program (FVRx). When a doctor or healthcare provider believes a patient with a chronic health condition, such as diabetes, would benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables, the doctor can give them a prescription for vegetables—a voucher the patient can use at local farmers markets. When the program resumes in the summer of 2023, patients now also will be able to use the vouchers at Aspirus hospital cafeterias for dishes made from hydroponic garden ingredients. “We also provide them access to information on how to buy, store and consume local produce and tips and strategies for feeding their families more fruits and vegetables,” Jenson explains. In addition to improving health and wellbeing for those dining in Aspirus cafeterias or taking a breather in a Serenity Room, the Sustainability Initiative also radiates positive vibes for those carrying it out. “It’s so great to work for a company that values environmental sustainability,” Jenson says. “It’s fun too—a nice little break from our day-to-day jobs.”


Powered by